Nutrients for a Healthy Colon MAY / J U N E 2 0 1 4 49 Mom’s chicken Consider colorectal cancer: certain risk factors for the disease, such as being older than age 50 or having a family history, you just can’t avoid. But you still may be able to keep your colon healthy by eating better. Try adding four nutrients to your favorites list: 1. Folate Spinach is a powerful food, filled with folate. Also known as folic acid, folate is a type of vitamin B. It’s instrumental in healthy cell production. That may be why research suggests folate can help prevent colorectal cancer. One recent study found that eating more folate, or even taking folic acid supplements, was associated with a lowered risk for the disease. Not a fan of spinach? You can find folate in other vegetables like asparagus, romaine lettuce, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, as well as in fruits, beans, nuts, dairy products, poultry, meat and eggs. Breads and cereals enriched with folic acid are another source. 2. CALCIUM Milk’s calcium content may help with colon health. A recent research review in the Annals of Oncology found that people who drank more milk were less likely to develop colorectal cancer. Other calcium-filled foods include yogurt, kale and salmon. Also consider foods with added calcium, such as breakfast cereals, fruit juices and soy beverages. 3. WHOLE GRAIN FODS Oatmeal and other whole-grain foods are good breakfast options, especially for your colon. Whole-grain foods are derived from cereal grains. Research to date has suggested that eating more whole grains may protect you from colorectal cancer. That’s because such foods are high in fiber. Fiber-rich foods can help with other colon problems, too. They can ease constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. They also help with digestion. Want more than oatmeal? Choose whole-grain versions of foods like pasta, barley, bread and breakfast cereals. Brown rice, instead of white, is a good option, too. 4. FIBER-RICH FODS Like whole-grain foods, many types of fruit, including apples, are good sources of fiber. In fact, health experts, including the American Cancer Society, recommend eating more fruits, as well as their dietary cousin, vegetables, to help reduce the risk for many types of cancer. Additional fiber-rich foods we should add to our diets include pears, berries, oranges, sweet potatoes, artichokes, green peas and many types of beans including navy, kidney, pinto and lima. Screenings can help reduce your colon cancer risk Get regular colorectal cancer screenings beginning at age 50 if you are at normal risk. If you are at higher risk—due to a personal or family history of colorectal cancer, other cancers or inflammatory bowel disease—talk to your doctor about screenings before age 50. Call (877) 449-DOCS to find your Queen of the Valley Medical Center physician. advertorial feat ure soup, pizza, bread pudding~ we all have our favorite foods. Unfortunately, what we like to eat isn’t always good for our bodies.
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